A Day in the Life

A Day in the Life: Kenya Mason

Top of the week it’s Monday!

5:15 a.m.—The alarm starts to sing. I quickly silence it as I settle into a moment of silent prayer for my family and pondering of the day ahead. After a series of last-minute yawns and stretches, I glance at my phone to be reminded of any follow-ups and commitments.

5:30 a.m.—I’m out of bed now and headed straight to the kitchen to hit the power button on the Keurig. As it warms up, I set up my blood pressure medications consisting of two antihypertensives and diuretics. Hypertension runs on both sides of my family. Strokes and aneurysms plagued both my grandmothers and my father also; so adhering to my prescribed medications is a crucial part of my day. I tend not to make small talk outside of saying “good morning” to my kids & husband during this time so that I don’t become distracted in conversation and forget to take my meds. I’m very much a creature of habit and routine. My family understands this about me and they allow me to thaw out mentally in the early morning before bombarding me with sideline chatter. As I sit and sip my coffee, I’m often on Twitter ingesting what is happening in politics and around the world.

5:45 – 6:15 a.m.—I’m showering and getting dressed for work.

6:30 a.m.—I emerge from my bedroom less gremlin-like and cheery. This is the time that my family and I all start to engage in issues of the day, tasks, and reminders as we are in and out of the pantry and fridge making lunches. Most times I’m intermittently fasting breakfast and eating lunch and dinner only. If I’m feeling naughty and off my game, I’ll indulge with a banana or blueberry muffin before heading out to work.

6:45 a.m.—I’m in the car headed to work. I use this time to rock out to my favorite playlist as I cruise Forest Park Parkway.

7:00 a.m.—I’m in the GI lab preparing my workstation for the day and making the rounds greeting everyone with morning niceties. As I engage in upbeat talk, give hugs and shoot the breeze with colleagues, I’m also surveying the board for changes, add-on cases, assignments of 8-hour CRNAs versus longer shift staff and late rooms. I purposely cultivate a pleasant atmosphere in the GI lab. Additionally, the people in GI have come to expect good vibes from me, so I’m always conscious to deliver.

7:30 a.m.—The first case starts and I greet the patient and commence the anesthetic plan. From this point forward I’m in arm’s length of everyone in the room. The close proximity causes us to have to work in tandem with one another to execute the cases and thats exactly what we do.

Throughout the day I’m looking for ways to facilitate movement of the cases in all rooms. Sometimes that means taking a case from another room that may be behind, starting difficult IVs, taking an early or late lunch, and moving at a good pace in between cases to ensure I complete my assignment and avail myself for relief for an 8 hr colleague.

2:00 -3:30 p.m.—During this time I’m either taking over a new room, acquiring some add on inpatient cases from the adjacent room or simply continuing to matriculate through my own assigned cases. If I’m still in my room; this is the time when the higher degree of difficulty, longer and sicker patient cases are done.

4:00-6:00 p.m.—At this time I’m either finishing up my day or I’m the late person that will stay until all the work is done. Oftentimes, if it is not my late night and the person who is assigned late rooms is forecast to go beyond 6 p.m. I will offer to stay late with them and take on one of their cases to lighten their late assignment. Nobody wants to stay to 7 p.m. and beyond after a full day in GI. Furthermore, this improves morale, camaraderie, and cohesion among the anesthesia providers and it keeps us mentally fresh enough to come back to do it all again tomorrow.

6:00-8:00 p.m.—This is the decision time about what to do for dinner. If my son has
physical therapy or my daughter has basketball practice we are definitely getting carry out. By this time I literally have a quarter tank of energy left for the day. If all is good in the hood and nobody has nowhere to be I morph into a pretty good cook if I must say so myself… The fam are very particular about dinner. The food has to deliver on aesthetics as well as taste in order for them to be satisfied. I rattle the pots and pans with lots of love. This is one area that I score big as a mom. It does my heart good when they rave about my cooking.

8:00-10:00 p.m.—It’s cable news in the background, talk about Lebron James mixed in with nuggets of interesting things that happened in our individual day, and a general winding down for me and my crew.

10:30 p.m.—I’m asleep.

Weekends are for watching my daughter play in her basketball games, seeing my elderly mother-in-law, being social with my core group of girlfriends, catching up with the young people I mentor, and date nights with the husband. Joe and I go on at least two dates per month. One of which is casual and the other is a full date-night dress code. It’s so fun and keeps our marriage humming along. Transforming into different versions of myself through hairstyles, make-up, and fashion is what I do. It’s a key part of my character. We seek out live music, concerts, and any place that offers a great moscow mule and vibes.